The main difference between Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Brave is tightly connected to the platform on which you install and use each browser on a daily basis. While Safari clearly falls behind on Windows, it excels on Macintosh machines due to its flawless integration with the entire Apple ecosystem. Meanwhile, Brave has superior features in terms of security, with a bit of a slip when it comes to data collection, which leaves Firefox and Chrome to fiercely compete against each other (as they always have).
Even though their purpose is the same, each web browser does security differently. Sure, there are similarities, but the end result is a vastly different experience for each of them.
Naturally, you’d have questions and legitimately so. Is Firefox or Chrome better for privacy? Is Safari better for privacy than Chrome? How about Firefox, is it better than Safari for privacy?
We’re here to put your mind at ease and our complete Safari vs Chrome vs Firefox vs Brave analysis aims to provide you with enough insights to make an inspired, privacy-focused choice when it comes to your web explorer.
And which one is the best ultimately comes down to what you, the user, want. Every single browser has built-in security features that people don’t really utilize to their fullest extent.
All of these browsers have privacy settings that can remember your search history, store cookies, and more. These settings include options to notify you if a website is trying to install an add-on.
Now, Firefox and Chrome are well-known for their vast array of add-ons and extensions. Since they can access the inner recesses of your computer, add-ons in particular are especially damaging.
Because of the potential harm a bad add-on can do, it’s strongly recommended that you stick to downloading extensions from official sources and not access random websites.
On the other hand, Safari’s security is quite dependent on the Mac computer. In fact, Safari by itself doesn’t have a lot of security features, leaving protection to rely almost exclusively on what’s available on the hardware and through a firmware update.
Finally, Brave is a special case as it’s actually based on the same open-source engine as Chrome. Think of the two browsers as distant cousins; they have a lot of similarities but Brave is better in terms of security.
However, there is a catch. While Brave protects its users well from third-party sources, it lacks the first-party side of things. The company behind the browser has been caught collecting user information.
Brave’s failure will be explained later. Firefox and Chrome are similar in that they offer a wide variety of customization via the aforementioned add-ons, but the former is better due to its own tools.
And with that, let’s get into which browser has the best security on Windows, macOS, and mobile platforms.
Which browser has the best privacy on Windows?
Right off the bat, it must be mentioned that Safari is not a good match for Windows. It can technically be installed on this OS but Apple hasn’t supported a Windows version for a very long time now.
In the same vein, be away from websites that claim to have Safari for Windows to download. You’re setting yourself up for malware if you decide to download these links.
That said, let’s go into what the other browsers have to offer.
Starting off with Chrome, the browser updates every six weeks or so to fend off any new viruses. And if Google discovers a glaring security flaw, it rolls out a patch in less than 24 hours.
Chrome will keep you up to date on your passwords by letting you know if any of them have been compromised. It will also flag potentially dangerous extensions as mentioned earlier.
Other notable features include enabling protection against malware and phishing scams, turning off instant searching, and the ability to disconnect your email from the browser. All in all, pretty decent and standard.
You may see some new vulnerabilities pop up for Chrome. That’s normal since the software is a constantly changing medium. And this is why you should always update the browser.
Some people worry that Chrome can track them and take personal information. This is true, but only if you allow it to do so. Google allows users to turn on Do Not Track in its Settings.
And it must be said that Chrome is a resource hog. The browser uses up a lot of CPU, which can lead to performance problems. The more extensions you have installed, the worse the issue gets.
Firefox is easier on the CPU. It shares many Chrome security features like enabling protection against malware and disconnecting your email from Firefox.
The browser also shares many of the same types of extensions. This includes ad blockers like uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger to stop websites from tracking you.
It natively has anti-tracking protection, but the extensions tend to be better in performance.
Firefox has the unique feature of blocking what’s considered dangerous and deceptive content. This feature can be found in the Privacy & Security section of the Settings menu.
Its purpose is to block and inform you if you downloaded anything suspicious on your PC. While you don’t get that on Chrome, with Brave, you get even more protection.
This browser houses three layers of protection whereas the others have arguably just two.
It features Brave Shields which blocks websites from tracking you, cookies, fingerprinting, and more. If you click on the Brave Shields icon, you get a full list of everything blocked.
The second layer is the other security features. Brave removed Google’s Network Status and Reporting APIs which can be used to track you. It can block those annoying social media windows that appear on websites.
And it can encrypt profiles accessed on Brave to ensure your information is hidden from everyone. Then there’s Brave’s third layer of its policies and practices to ensure user privacy.
It may sound great, sure but it’s not flawless. Brave is said to have whitelisted certain tracking URLs to be enabled on its browser. So despite claiming that it blocks all websites from tracking, this isn’t really the case.
The other loophole is that Brave is not the most user-friendly app. It has a bunch of features that you probably won’t even touch. So that leaves the question of what is the best browser for privacy Windows.
If you can handle the complexity of its menus, Brave is the best choice. Plus it supports most of Chrome’s extensions. If you want something that’s easier to use, then Firefox is the way to go.
Firefox has a lot of extensions to boost security and is less stressful on your PC.
Safari vs Chrome vs Firefox privacy: Which browser has the best privacy on Mac?
Firefox, Chrome, and Brave on Mac are identical to their PC counterparts. They all have the same strengths and weaknesses, like Chrome taking up a lot of the CPU.
The only major difference is how they look. Certain aspects will have the same Mac art style as everything else, but that’s it. No performance difference at all. So that leaves Safari and its security features.
Safari is great on Mac. It has a decent amount of security features and extensions to boost usability. You have the option to turn on warnings whenever you visit a suspicious website.
The browser can block phishing scams and annoying pop-up windows and protect you against malware hidden in downloaded files.
Safari on its own is a decent browser for privacy. However, it can’t compete against Firefox or Brave in terms of being a secure browser.
What makes Safari better than those two is how it integrates with Apple’s ecosystem. macOS is constantly updating its security features.
The M1 chip on recent Apple computers protects login information, automatically encrypts data, and frequent updates. Safari integrates itself with iCloud Drive and FileVault 2 to keep data safe.
The OS comes with iCloud Keychain to safely store passwords on all devices from computers to iPhones to iPad. iCloud Security alone would be enough, but macOS takes Safari beyond Firefox and Brave.
Those two browsers don’t integrate themselves as Safari does.
📱 Safari vs Chrome vs Firefox privacy: Which browser has the best privacy on mobile?
While Safari is the best on macOS, it surprisingly is not the best browser on iOS. In fact, a lot of people hate Safari on iOS as evidenced by tweets from an Apple developer.
Safari on iOS isn’t awful, but it pales in comparison to other browsers as it lacks key features. Chrome is actually worse because its Incognito mode only provides one private session. This exposes your information to bad actors.
Things get worse when you look at Chrome’s policy towards third-party cookies. Even if Google promised it would change the browser’s policy to prevent advertisers from tracking users across websites, they haven’t.
So that just leaves Firefox and Brave, which fortunately are two of the best browsers on iOS. The reason why they’re so good on iOS is the same as why they’re great on desktop.
Firefox on iOS has the same great security settings. It can block over 2000 trackers, the private browsing mode will delete your history after closing, sync passwords across devices, and block ads.
Plus, there’s a special version of it on iOS called Firefox Focus. It’s a lightweight private browser that has a minimal design with ad blocking and tracking protection already available.
Focus also has a trash button available that will instantly delete your history, cookies, and password with a single tap. On the Apple App Store, it was a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars across over 51,000 reviews.
It can’t get any better than that. Brave on iOS doesn’t have two separate apps; rather it’s just one private browser like Focus. This version of Brave has the same three layers of protection like the shields mentioned earlier.
Brave on iOS has the unique ability to force a web page to show the HTTPS version of itself. This removes all the annoying ads and potential malware links from appearing.
It can even block scripts and provide fingerprint reader protection.
Without a doubt, Brave on iOS takes the crown for the best browser out of these four. It is a little difficult to use. If you prefer something that’s easier to use, then pick Firefox and its Focus counterpart.
On Android, Firefox, and Firefox Focus are the best browsers. People have complained that Brave loads more slowly on Android than on iOS and has less support. Beyond that, it’s the exact same browser.
Brave on Android has the exact same protections; it’s just a performance problem that makes it more difficult to use. Firefox runs like a dream on Android.
Finally, Safari is not even present on Android. And Chrome still rates low. Again, Chrome isn’t a terrible browser, but it lacks all of the great security features that the browsers have.
There you have it! If you were wondering which browser has the best privacy, our Safari vs Chrome vs Firefox privacy comparative analysis should help clear things up a bit. What’s your favorite browser for privacy so far?